There is avant-garde filmmaking, Moroccan literature and Berber storytelling in a new art installation opening in the BBC's soon-to-be demolished Television Centre. Doctor Who's Tardis, Daleks and 1980s newsreader Jan Leeming also feature.

The unlikely mix can be found in a vast work by British artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers, who this summer is taking over the now empty drama block at the BBC's former home in White City, west London.

Commissioned by arts organisation Artangel, The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers consists of films, sounds and stories, all taking place in a building used to paint and build TV sets before their construction was moved to the main BBC studios.

"Walking in here was incredible," says Rivers. "It was exactly the kind of place I was thinking of - it has a history seeped in its walls."

Rivers' work brings together his various obsessions, notably filmmaking, set building and the late Morocco-based American writer Paul Bowles. All are presented in a fascinating building where the ghosts of BBC past can still be felt.

In the frame room, Artangel's co-director Michael Morris points to a late 50s machine used to raise and lower set backgrounds for painting purposes. Some say it was an inspiration for the Tardis' console, he says. In the next room are skylights that bear an uncanny resemblance to the knobbly bits on a Dalek.

Curators also came across a store cupboard in which a large 80s photograph of a smiling Leeming hangs.

"I have no idea what she is doing there," says Morris. "We couldn't resist opening the door and letting people see in."

Morris says the space was ideal because Rivers was exploring films about filmmaking and, specifically, the abandoned TV and film sets that litter the Moroccan Sahara Desert.

"What we've done is construct makeshift cinemas out of old film sets in a space where sets were constructed," says Morris. "We've built kind of salvaged cinemas."

Rivers thinks some people who come to the installation will be as interested in the building as they are in the art.

"It is an amazing building," he says. "It is like a found artwork in a way."

The installation is being held in the middle of a building site, with much of the Television Centre due to be pulled down and redeveloped. The BBC left in 2013 as part of its move to the city of Manchester.

A feature film of The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is due to be released later this year.

There is a lot going on in the artwork, says Rivers, who won a prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival for his first feature film, Two Years at Sea. "I pitched something to Artangel which I don't think made a lot of sense … I think that's why they liked it!"

Guardian News & Media

The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is at Television Centre, White City, London until August 31.